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Microsoft hints at a way to finally unify its apps, a phone future for Windows RT

Above: Microsoft's Surface RT

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

As partners lose faith in Windows RT, Microsoft is positioning the troubled operating system as a way to bring Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps together.

Speaking during Microsoft’s financial analysts meeting yesterday, Terry Myerson, the former Windows Phone head who’s now in charge of all of Microsoft’s operating systems, yesterday laid out his vision of how the company could finally achieve a unified app platform with the help of Windows RT (the stripped down version of Windows 8 that runs on low-power ARM processors).

He noted that the company is now focusing on three major points for all of its operating systems: commonality, cloud services, and unique experiences for each device, the Verge reports.

“The first of those is that we really should have one silicon interface for all of our devices,” Myerson said yesterday. “We should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices. And all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices.”

Since the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft has discussed the possibility of eventually offering its apps across multiple devices. Now with Windows Phone still struggling, manufacturers abandoning RT, and a lack of any truly must-have Windows 8 apps, the company could solve several problems at once by giving developers an easy way to build an app once and have it run on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.


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We’ve already reported on developers easily translating their Windows 8 devices over to Windows Phone 8, especially since the two platforms share the Windows 8 kernel. But having true cross-compatibility would be another matter entirely.

“The ARM devices in particular in phones have incredible share given their battery life and the connectivity options available with the system-on-a-chip ecosystem,” Myerson said. “Windows RT was our first ARM tablet. And as phones extend into tablets, expect us to see many more ARM tablets, Windows ARM tablets in the future.”

While he didn’t say it outright, his statement points to a possible future for Windows RT in phones. Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley posits that could mean RT could find its way into phablets, or very big smartphones over 5.5-inches. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some elements of RT eventually gutted to get it onto very large phones (Nokia is gearing up to launch its Lumia 1520, the first six-inch Windows Phone).


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